“They Started Vandalising The Mosques, Burnt Down And Looted The Muslim Houses”

“Bhagwan (god) and Allah aIl are one”.  It was 2 months ago my mother was bargaining with a ‘sabjiwala’ (vegetable-seller) for the price of tomatoes.

He was in his late 50s, a long white-bearded man, who wore a sloppy plain kurta and his white skull cap. He said: “Allah ki kasam Bhan ji, sabji mandi se hi bhut mhangi aa rahi hai, isiliye mhangi bik rahi hain, tum kahogi to bhagwan ki kasam bhi kha lunga.”

(I swear on Allah, sister, the vegetables are coming expensive from the market; that’s why they are being sold at an expensive rate; if you say so, I will swear by God also.)

My mother replied with the above line (“Bhagwan (God) and Allah aIl are one”) and the old man smiled.

Delhi RIOTS [via Google]
The local people were not part of that massive disruptions and they never expected that can happen in Delhi, in their own society.
I was recalling all these moments, when a mob, most of them were less than 17 years old, came in through Gali no.5 in Ashok Nagar, shouting “Jai Shri Ram”.

One thing that the mobs on both sides have in common is the age of the boys, who seem to have been radicalised; so now, they are not even going to listen to their own people, if they ask for peace.

They started vandalising the mosques, burnt down and looted the Muslim houses, and shops. The local people were not part of that massive disruptions and they never expected that something like that can happen in Delhi, in their own society.

But the houses of minorities are always ‘the other’ in their own society in their ‘own nation’ and social media leaves no space for guilt or feeling the pain of ‘the other’  in their own societies.

People are justifying the deaths or threats to their neighbours, because, in some societies, Muslims were killed, and in some, Hindus.

As the death toll reaches to 35 and around 200 people have been injured in North East Delhi, I am reminded of Ismat Chughtai’s words, in ‘A Life In Words‘:

“The blood of the innocent is used to wash the black stains of defeat suffered in politics. Human beings are led to fight one another like dogs in order to prove their rival’s incapability.” 

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